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Microland Improved Customer Experience and Retention for a Global Aviation Firm by Transforming and Streamlining its Sales Operations
The client is a Global Aviation Leader with eight airline subsidiaries across Europe, South Africa, Asia, and Australia, specializing in ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, Insurance) operations, Cargo, and passenger services. The organization supports customers across 51 countries through its diverse team of 3,000 members managing an impressive fleet of 160 aircraft. In 2022, they served over 6.9 million passengers, and transported 900,000+ tons of cargo, across 100,000+ flights.
The client wanted digital transformation and was looking for a technology partner to standardize quote and contract processes across multiple business units, along with building a strong foundational Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, to streamline aviation operations, improve the efficiency of Commercial teams, and enhance customer intelligence.
- Integrating complex and fragmented RFQ processes: The integration of commercial workflows across subsidiaries posed challenges in aligning processes, workflows, and pricing strategies. Varying Requests for Quote (RFQ) methods and pricing models and a lack of a common platform to log and track RFQ quotes across subsidiaries hindered accurate quote comparisons and transparency. These challenges affected the efficiency of commercial teams, revenue optimization, and potential growth opportunities.
- Manual Procedures: The manual quoting, contracting, and tracking process increased the likelihood of human error leading to higher process times and delays in contract approvals and execution. Furthermore, due to the manual nature of the process, customers would get varied quotes from the client’s different subsidiaries for the same services.
- Complex Cost Calculations: The number of aviation cost elements and their interdependencies involved in calculating aviation quotes posed difficulties in providing RFQ responses to customers swiftly. There was an imminent need to build a standardized pricing strategy that was consistent across its multiple subsidiaries.
Considering the complexity of the industry and the various compliances, Client and Microland created a joint task force that took a business consulting-led approach, collaborating with the client’s Commercial leaders and stakeholders across multiple subsidiaries to understand the business challenges and gaps in the technology and process workflows. Based on learnings and the recommendations of the consulting exercise, the solution was primarily delivered using Dynamics 365 Sales module, also leveraging Power Apps, Power Automate, SharePoint, and integrations with DocuSign, Outlook, and LinkedIn.
Below are some of the areas where the joint task force collaborated with the client stakeholders to streamline the solutions:
- Standardizing Pricing Logic: The team collaborated with business users across geographies and subsidiaries to jointly formulate a cohesive pricing model, standardizing disparate approaches to pricing across entities. Leveraging consultants, the team helped devise a uniform quoting strategy and workflow for all European businesses. By embedding this standardized pricing model, the client was able to establish a uniform pricing strategy and model across all markets thus eliminating cannibalization of revenue within its subsidiary entities.
- Simplifying Airline Quoting and Contracting: The aviation industry has complex business operations that must comply with stringent compliances and intricate dependencies. The ACMI and Charter flights quotation process was complex due to the multiple parameters that needed to be taken into account which led to a longer RFQ process. To bring simplicity to the RFQ process, while considering the business complexities, the team worked with leaders and stakeholders in the client organization to design a simplified digital workflow for accurate ACMI and Charter flight quoting, tailored to the client's diverse aircraft types. This seamless process navigated business intricacies while upholding efficiency and precision.
- Digitizing the RFQ Process: Previously the quotes were calculated manually in spreadsheets, which were now digitized and automated using Power Apps reducing non-value-added time for commercial users. Furthermore, through the unified CRM platform built on Dynamic 365, the RFQs across entities could be logged and tracked across multiple subsidiaries to prevent any disparities.
- Contract Automation: To expedite the contract execution process, the team worked to standardize, and automate contract execution workflows, aligned to the regional compliance and regulations requirements. The CRM platform was integrated with DocuSign, thus orchestrating an effortless and swift execution process that elevated the end-client experience and expedited contract finalizations. Additionally, the conventional manual email contract approval process was migrated to a tool-driven approval matrix fortified with auditing and notification capabilities, resulting in improved operational efficiency and compliance.
- Better Customer Intelligence and Improved Revenues: The CRM platform also provided a single point of truth on customer data with powerful analytics on opportunities and customer activities.
The integration with LinkedIn Sales Navigator and the implementation of automated notifications to the end-clients provided key updates and insights that enhanced the end-customer experience.
Real-time analytics and dashboards replaced manual tracking, leading to increased visibility and transparency along with business optimization through comprehensive insights for business operations and decision-making.
Also, the tool provided a means for client organizations to track customer engagement closely and take a data-driven approach to improve potential business opportunities.
Sustainability: By digitizing the contract approval and execution process through integrations with DocuSign, the team was able to make the contract execution process swift and paperless leading to improved sustainability workforce productivity.
- Single Point of Truth for Customer Data: By implementing standardization in commercial processes, the client centralized customer data management. This involved consolidating the end-to-end sales process, starting from RFQ and extending to contract execution, into a unified CRM platform. This allowed for real-time visibility into ongoing transactions, revenues, opportunities, and customer engagement across multiple subsidiaries and stakeholders. This provided the client sales team with insights into effective customer relationship management and improved data-driven decision-making.
- Up to 80% Reduction in RFQ response and Contract Execution: The implementation of streamlined and automated workflows, and integration with DocuSign significantly reduced the time required to generate quotes and execute contracts. This led to substantial time savings, improved customer experience, and workforce productivity.
- Improved Revenue Opportunities and Customer Retention: Enhanced visibility into customer engagements providing insights into customer relationship health and potential opportunities contributed to revenue growth. Additionally, the swift response and execution improved customer experience and contributed to higher customer retention rates.